[VIDEO] Home Defense Penetration Test! AR-15 VS AK-47 VS Pistols.


People always argue about what may be the best gun for home defense.

One of the things people always worry about for home defense is “over-penetration“. That is, they worry about stray bullets going through walls.

In this video, you get to see multiple different bullets fired through AR-15’s, AK-47’s, pistols, and even a .308 “sniper” rifle!


Check it out:

Home Defense Penetration Test – AR-15 VS AK-47 VS Pistols

Reid Henrichs has a good video here where they shoot MANY different self-defense bullets through AK-47’s, AR-15’s and handguns.

You’ll notice that many of their self-defense rifle rounds are chosen from this list of the BEST self-defense ammo for pistols and the best self-defense ammo for .223/5.56 rifles.

AR-15’s Are Great For Home Defense!

As you’ll notice, none of the excellent performing self-defense AR-15 bullets over-penetrated and left the house. Many stopped within a few layers of drywall.

In comparison to both pistol and AK-47 rounds (not to mention .308) they overpenetrated the least.

That makes them excellent for home defense.

That’s why we’re a big fan of the AR-15 for home defense around here.

You may also want to check out my other articles …

Keep In Mind, ANY Bullet That Will Stop a Bad Guy Will Go Through a Standard Interior Home Wall!

Many people think there may be a bullet that could stop a bad guy but that also won’t go through your wall if you miss.

That’s just not going to happen …

Keep in mind, after watching this video, almost every single bullet went through AT LEAST one or two walls before stopping.

That’s because if a bullet is designed to reach the — FBI recommended — 12-18″ of penetration in the human body (necessary to reach vital organs) then it will go through at least one interior wall easy peasy.

Remember that …

What you want is performance like you see in this video. Penetration but not “too much”.

In short, the AR-15 is GREAT for home defense!

What did you think of the video? Did you expect it to turn out that way?

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Caleb Lee is the #1 best-selling author of "Concealed Carry 101" and founder of PreparedGunOwners.com. He is a civilian (no law enforcement or military experience) who shares information about self-defense and becoming more self-reliant. He's a 1st degree black belt in Taekwondo, NRA Certified Basic Pistol & Personal Protection Inside The Home Instructor, Concealed Carry Academy Instructor certified & also a graduate of the Rangermaster firearms instructor course. He's also the author of numerous online courses including the UndergroundAssaultRifle.com course.


  1. The 5.56mm cartridge may be considered a great home defense round, but I see some major issues with that: muzzle blast that will deafen, muzzle flash that erases night vision, unless a pistol version used its worthless in confined areas of the home. A shotgun faces some of the same deficiencies as well.
    Handguns are best suited because they are by design most useable in close combat. Modern ammunition is available that penetrates adequately without over penetration. Frangeable ammo is available that breaks up to powder when hitting a hard surface. The person carrying or deploying the handgun must become educated as to ammo selection for intended use while being aware of less desirable aspects. Only a fool would use hardball ammo for self/home defense, but many do because they’re too cheap pay for premium ammo.
    My 2 cents for what it’s worth.

  2. Interesting video. But the first problem is this that ‘experiment’ was done ass backwards, or ‘brass’ Ackwards, if you prefer, lol. What’s the purpose of trying to shoot through and through from one outside side of the house to another? How does that replicate a real time scenario?

    If the idea was to see how dangerous it is to fire a rifle round at a home invader coming INTO your home, as you confront and shoot at them with your standard 3kfps fmj 5.56 round as they are coming at you after just breaking in through a window or door and you open up on them, especially with multiple shots and some rounds miss because of the move/miss potential dynamics in a real time scenario (i.e. cops miss sixty to eighty percent of their shots) you are then ONLY PENETRATING ONE WALL OF SHEETROCK! (about 1 inch total and relatively thin exterior aluminum siding because that will likely be the only wall your bullets penetrate because it is the one most likely behind the intruder after he breaks in? In other words how often would there be a scenario where the intruder would be on one end of the house with more than one wall, and you would be ‘outside’ shooting through the window at him, through multiple walls, (and NOT one that was an obvious intentional ‘ringer’ by being reinforced with solid tongue and groove planking behind the first drywall sheet which would almost always deflect, disperse, and mitigate velocity and trajectory. Remember standard 5.56 bullets have a ballistic co-efficiency balance designed to tumble after initial penetration trajectory disruption. That’s why you get the keyholing so quickly.

    But the deadly penetration of multiple standard construction walls is still there. Especially with any other family in the house? As that will be where most of the situations occur. The defender shooting from the inside toward the outside, thus minimalizing the wall obstruction density that was staged in this test. And ‘cooking the results.

    In other words, Why would a victim be Outside the house shooting through inside walls at an intruder all the way on the other side of the house? I mean, you can’t even see your target through three inside walls so how stupid is that? And if you make it out and he’s in, why would you go back and engage? That’s even more stupid?

    Bottom line is that if you shoot at an intruder who just broke in to your house with almost any plus 2500 fps rifle bullet you would more than likely see real case incidents where a bullet escaped the house and presented a serous danger to other people in the street or close next door frame houses. I’ve seen AK bullets penetrate almost halfway through APC aluminum allow armor. I can cite two recent cases immediately coming to mind of SWAT home invasions for Asset Forfeiture drug raids where a shoot out occurred from within the house and all kinds of outside the house damage and ‘friendly’ fire injuries/deaths occurred in the cross fire.

    I realize the purpose of this article was noble in that it was meant to weigh in on the benefits of the use of AR platform carbines for just about anything to offset the negative gun grabbing propaganda of it being nothing but an ominous black murdering device. I applaud the effort. But nevertheless, this ‘experiment’ was slightly misleading.

    Even though I always have an AR carbine relatively ‘handy’, my preference for immediate inside the home protection against a break in intruder if I was living in a tight together housing neighborhood, and especially any apartment/condo complex/row houses, hotel/motel, or any such arrangement that actually shares community walls, would NOT be an AR. Period. It would be a Glock 17 with a 30 round mag, high lumen blinding light attachment with very frangible ammo. It’s more ‘wieldable’ and I absolutely guarantee that it would work just as well on CQB, as an AR or AK or Shitgun for all pragmatic applications. It’s not a guarantee that all collateral damage would be eliminated, but it sure would reduce the likelihood of it it compared to an AR or AK.

    But if you insist you want to take the ‘liability leap’ and find out for sure if your defense/lawsuit lawyer is as good as she brags she is, I suggest you put your property and assets in a trust. And at least use frangible ammo like TAP or whatever the latest tricked stuff they have out there now. Because it won’t matter how ‘good’ she is at defending you. The prosecutor or civil suit lawyer will have to ask only one question that buries you. He’ll say, Mr. Johnson, why did you choose a highly powerful weapon of war that fires high powered bullets that everybody knows is much more powerful than a pistol? Are you saying there was no way to defend yourself with a 9mm Glock with less penetration potential? Didn’t you know that your rifle round could easily go through your kitchen window/door/wall if that’s where the intruder came in at and attacked you and continue out and through your next door neighbor’s vinyl siding frame house and penetrate his head as he sat eating dinner in his Kitchen only a few yards away?”

    “Well, um, I watched a video that showed an AR bullet can’t penetrate more than three sheetrock walls…”

    wHAT TH

  3. I live in the country in the middle of 10 acres. Anything I might hit belongs to me. The main thing I want to do is hit what I’m shooting at first before it goes through any walls. Once my live is saved everything I hit after that is replaceable.

  4. Mahatma “… how often would there be a scenario where the intruder would be on one end of the house with more than one wall, and you would be ‘outside’ shooting through the window at him, through multiple walls, …” You almost swerved into answering your own question, but then missed it. The purpose of the exercise is to show how innocent people can be hurt or killed by accident in your attempt to defend them. If your intruder you describe gets into the door or window, and you miss with your first shot(s), he could then move. Ya think? His movement may take him between you and your loved ones lying on the floor in the bedroom, 2 or 3 walls away. As one set of shots showed, the bullets’ trajectory can be bent by the wall and hit someone not initially in the line-of-fire. You are aiming at the bad guy you can see, but hit an innocent bystander you can’t. That is the point.

    This was a good education to those who think they will get the biggest and baddest caliber and start shooting like dirty harry without regard to the 4th rule of gun safety: Know what is behind your target. It could be your young children hiding under their bed.

    I did enjoy the refrigerator demonstration. Guns 4: fridge 0. = no cover. I think this experiment should be expanded. In addition to cinder block, I would like to see traditional clay brick tested and other building materials such as ballistic safety glass, tapco hurricane screens, 3M window film. and anything else you want to shoot.

    here are some other testing that was done on building construction. I think these tests could be expanded. But they were good. http://www.multibriefs.com/briefs/nyscma/FAQ4_04.pdf And this: http://ccmpa.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/CMRI.pdf

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